We all enjoy a good story about the underdogs, the Davids versus Goliaths. It is a type of tale that teaches the lesson of how anything is possible, despite the adversity one may face. And as much as we love this story, it is always fun to try adding new elements to it.

Super Useless - Rising

The alleyway smelled rancid, littered as it was with rusty metal bars and slimy bits of trash; now his school books were haphazardly strewn among the debris. His backpack leaned limply against the wall, close enough to reach out for. The shadows hung thickly at the alley's end, as a late afternoon settled over the block. The little boy sat hugging his knees, his back pressed firmly to the brick wall. It was a good place to conceal tears.

He could still feel the blunt sting of the bigger boy's punch against his cheek; it hurt too much to try touching it. He allowed himself a watery sniffle, wondering how he'd explain his missing wallet and Captain America lunchbox to his mom.

"Jake?" The voice sounded vaguely familiar.

Jake glanced up to see a lanky boy sporting big round glasses and a gray hoodie over a shirt three sizes too big for him. "What do you want, Will?" he mumbled. Will silently surveyed the scene. It was too dark for Jake to make out what expression might be on the other kid's face.

Wordlessly, Will gathered up the scattered notebooks and dropped them languidly into the backpack. "If you're done being bummed out now…" Will held out the bag.

"Can't you just leave me alone?" snapped Jake. He flashed his meanest glare, wiping away his last few tears with the furious heel of his hand. "Aren't you part of that group of weirdos anyway? Why would I want help from you?"

Will left a ringing silence in the air before he burst into laughter. Jake could only blink in confusion. Who actually is this kid? He'd seen the boy from afar at school, and he was always in a group of trouble-makers, the kind of people the teachers complained about among themselves.

After calming down, Will sighed. "I guess I am a weirdo." He offered the bag again. "But this weirdo might have a way to take down those bullies."

Jake was standing before being aware of it and took the bag to sling over one shoulder. "Oh, really?" He asked warily. "How?"

Will grinned. "Follow me."


"Hey, do you have a phone or anything? I keep forgetting mine at home," Jake said. The city streets had disappeared into winding trails and towering trees. It was very quiet.

"No. My mom thinks those things cause cancer or something. Why?" Will never looked back. He followed some obscure path deep through the woodlands with long, confident strides.

"I needed to know the time, 'cuz of my mom and all. Do you have a watch?"

"No. It's only 4:23, though, unless that's a problem?"

Jake frowned. "I thought you said you didn't have a watch?"

"I don't."

"Who's there?" A petulant voice echoed through the trees, freezing Jake mid-thought. "Say the password or be destroyed!"

"Tim, you're a loser and an idiot," Will called back casually.

"What time is it?" asked the voice. Jake couldn't tell exactly how close or far away this boy 'Tim' might've been. Maybe it's the trees? In one second, it's like he's right next to me, and the next halfway across the forest!

"4:24" answered Will.

A gangly kid stepped clear from behind a tree not five feet from them. That close?! He was shorter than Will, but only just, and wore plain, though dirt-stained, jeans and a short-sleeved shirt. He's got a watch…His sandy-brown hair was little more than a rumpled mess. "That's the Will we know and love!" Tim smiled toothily in greeting, but the grin faded once he noticed Jake. "Who's that?"

Will swung a lazy arm about Jake's shoulder, as confidently as though they'd known each other forever. "This guy may be our ticket to standing up to Al and his gang!"

Jake could have laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. How can I help? Those thugs always wipe me down in seconds, and it's not like I can even fight back. His cheeks burned at the memories.

Tim crossed his arms. "How? Does he even have any—"

"Nope," Will cut off curtly, "but that's why I think he can help. He's gonna turn us losers into a hardcore squad!"

Jake blinked. "Wait, what?"

To Be Continued...